Thursday, February 03, 2011

10 Companies Running Out of American Customers

As technology evolves and Americans shopping attitudes change, these 10 companies are running out of customers in the US.

From Huffington

    Best Buy

    December same-store sales for the consumer electronics company fell 4%. For the same period, sales at Best Buy stores open for at least 14 months declined 5% in the United States as competing retailers offered deeper discounts. Profits for Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) decreased 4.4% in the third quarter compared to last year. The company risks further loss in market share as more consumers turn to mass merchants and online shopping for their electronics needs. Best Buy offered a weak forecast for the quarter ahead when it announced earnings. The firm's stock fell from $42 to $34 the day of the disclosure. Best Buy will specifically face greater future competition with like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) (NASDAQ: AMZN).


    The Wii was a surprise victory for the video game company. The console outsold the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Xbox and Sony (NYSE: SNE) PS3 worldwide for most of 2007, 2008 and 2009. More than 86 million Wiis were sold from 2006 to 2010. But as the novelty of the system wore off and with no replacement on the horizon, Nintendo has stopped winning new customers. The company is threatened by Sony's "Move" device for the PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's "Kinect" for the Xbox. Nintendo recently cut its sales forecast for the Wii from 17.5 milion to 16 million for the year. It also reduced sales forecasts for its handheld platform, the DS, by 1 million units.


    TiVo was once the only standalone digital video recording product. But for more than five years, cable companies have offered the same service without the need to buy a special device. At the end of October 2008, TiVo had a subscriber base of 3.45 million customers. That number dropped to 2.7 million in 2009 and 2.27 million last year, amounting to a 2-year decrease of 34%. Instant streaming available from Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) has also cut into TiVo's customer base significantly. TiVo's answer to its dilemma has been to file patent suits against Echostar (NASDAQ: SATS), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). The IP door swings both ways. Microsoft recently sued TiVo for allegedly infringing on four patents. Ten years ago, when TiVo dominated the market, its shares traded for $50. The price is now under $10.

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